The Hunter

I was playing in my greenhouse when I heard him call out his question, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI emerged from the shed to find him perched above me in my favorite sycamore. He fixed his orbs on mine with an intensity that fluttered my heart. There was a catch in my chest, and my brain straddled the line between fear and excitement–fight, freeze, or flight.

He doesn’t trust me, even though I only say sweet things. I offer him moles and mice and instead, he takes my bunnies and baby birds. Once, he barreled down and stole a bunny from the underbrush of roses, right at my feet. His barbaric action angered, and then transfixed me.

Who cooks for you?

He ignored my question and then swooped low enough to make me duck, landing in a tree less than ten feet way.

I lifted my eyes back to his and smiled. So you wanna play, little bird?

As soon as I offered, he flew away to find his girlfriend, or wife, or whoever he’s always calling for.

Such a tease, a player, a hunter.  His big, bold body and boisterous questions taking up space in my sycamore or on the garden arbor. His calls stir me from early morning dreams and I search for him when it’s been too many days since we last spoke.

He always comes back. Curious enough to check me out, but not intrigued enough to stay. I try to talk and he pretends to listen, but I know he’s just sizing me up.

Before his next pass,  he calls,  “Are you a predator, or are you prey? ”

I just whisper, “Dear Mr. Owl, it depends on the day.”

Mr. Owl

Of the Winter to Come

via via

I tucked in mums among the fading petunias
and prettied the pots ready for Fall.
They are propped up in Summer’s shiny sun
as their faces reach for the rays
Grateful and accepting of their short life.

A fleeting image
in the corner of my mind’s eye
fondant candy ice-covered petals

It was there, like an effigy
just for a second–but so bold
A premonition
an image of snow and bone-chill
isolation and wandering
Dark, dead flower heads spent for another season
Not returning like their perennial sisters

Typical me, always looking ahead
while stuck in the past
never thankful for the moment
The sun on my face, flowers in my lap
children at apron’s length
Thinking of ice crystals on a
hundred degree day
Already wishing the season away while
begging for it to stay


Is it just me, or can you feel it, too? Maybe it’s the slight north wind, a stray leaf among the green or the winter-laden catalogs that are starting to fill the mailbox. It’s coming, my friends, and the Almanac predicts it to be a long one in my neck of the woods. Sending you summer vibes and wishes that yours lasts as long as you want it to.

If you have the chance, look at the beautiful music video by the Zac Brown Band. It inspired this free write and the tilt-shift cinematography is amazing! (Mr. Liam Hemsworth ain’t so bad either!)